April 18, 2018

India-Russia close to inking warship deal

Moving closer towards buying four advanced warships for the Navy, India has finalised the price of the vessels to be bought directly from Russia at around USD 1.1 billion while Defence Ministry is pushing for conclusion of the contract for the remaining two vessels which would be built by the Goa Shipyard under Make in India programme.

The warships are being acquired from Russia as the Navy wanted to enhance its blue water capabilities by inducting four state-of-the-art warships equipped with the deadly BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles in the earliest possible timeframe.

After Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharamans visit to Russia, the Russian and Indian sides have completed the price negotiations for the Russian material to be supplied to the Goa Shipyards at around USD 200 million. The Indian negotiators have also managed to get a discount of 18 per cent in the contract, government sources said.

After Sitharamans push to the programme, a Russian team had come at the Defexpo-2018 in Chennai and held discussions for price during the exhibition and continued it in Delhi in the last two days, they said.

The Defence Minister had visited Russia earlier this month where she discussed multiple military cooperation programmes between the two countries.

The Indian side in the discussions is led by a Joint Secretary-level official of the Defence Ministry. The Russian shipyard involved in the project is Yantar.

The negotiations for the cost of the warships to be built at the Goa Shipyards will continue and it is expected that the programme would be finalised in next couple of months, the sources said.

According to the plan, the defence ministry wants to go the Cabinet Committee on Security with a combined proposal including the cost of the Russian supplied and the Made in India vessels together, the sources said.


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